How Long Can Raw Chicken Stay In The Refrigerator (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 days

Have some leftover uncooked chicken in the refrigerator? It happens that we buy some raw food from the market thinking to use them for future. Although sometimes there are some immediate plans made up and we are left to doubt about the further use of those uncooked food items. In this case, if you have raw chicken and you doubt its usefulness, don’t worry. We are here to solve your problem.

We can store the raw chicken in either the fridge or the freezer part of the refrigerator. Both common sense and science say that raw chicken can stay edible longer in the freezer than in the fridge.

How Long Can Raw Chicken Stay In The Refrigerator

How Long Can Raw Chicken Stay In The Refrigerator?

Part Of RefrigeratorTime Taken
Fridge1-2 days
Freezer (in individual parts)9 months
Freezer (in whole)A year

Eating stale chicken can be dangerous for your health. It can lead to food poisoning and many other food-borne diseases. Raw chicken stored in the refrigerator for more than 2 days can lead to the growth of several harmful micro-organisms. Sometimes, serious food poisoning can also lead to death. So, you need to know the extent of time to which the raw chicken can be used.

You can store uncooked chicken in your fridge for a minimum period of 1-2 days only. It may spoil after 48 hours of being kept in the fridge. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration agrees with the fact and states that it might be harmful to eat chicken after being in the fridge for more than 2 days. Also, this timespan holds when keep a frozen chicken to defrost in the fridge.

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Raw chicken can be kept safe to eat in a freezer for a surprisingly long time. If you have not cut the chicken into pieces, the raw item can last in the freezer for as long as a year. On the contrary, if you cut the chicken, the raw chicken pieces can still last for as long as 9 months.

Also, if your chicken is cooked, it will last in the refrigerator for a span of 3 to 4 days. Conversely, if you keep it in the freezer, it might end up well beyond 2 to 3 months.

Why Does Raw Chicken Stay That Long In The Refrigerator?

As you might know, there are two parts to a refrigerator. These are the fridge and the freezer. The fridge helps to cool food items and store them for longer. The fridge part of a refrigerator slows down the growth of micro-organisms but does not stop them. On the other hand, the freezer is used when we have to store food items for a longer period. A freezer almost completely stops the growth of microorganisms, enabling the food to be eaten for a longer time. The freezer is also used to have ice.

The time at which raw chicken can be kept in the refrigerator depends on many factors. The amount and types of micro-organisms present in the food impact the freshness of the chicken, besides the temperature of the fridge and the freezer. The cold environment of the refrigerator restricts the growth of bacteria and other pathogens. This is because micro-organisms tend to grow slowly below 4 degrees Celcius.

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The temperature in the refrigerator is lower than in the outside world. This prompts a slow pace of growth for unwanted microorganisms. This slow growth further makes the raw chicken better suitable for consumption for a longer period.

In the freezer part of the refrigerator, the temperature is further down. The extremely less and cold temperatures almost completely put an end to the growth of these unwanted micro-organisms resulting in the raw chicken lasting longer. It can last for as long as a year in the freezer.


The refrigerator is very beneficial in storing raw chicken. Refrigerator eases the problem of the storage of food. It delays the growth of micro-organisms and keeps them fit to consume.

A refrigerator can store it for 1-2 days without any problem. Also, you can store raw chicken in the freezer part of the refrigerator for at least a year. However, if you decide to consume chicken kept raw in the fridge for more than 2 days, you should inspect if it is fit to be eaten. After all, prevention is better than cure.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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